My wife has a private yoga instructor. A tall, very calm dude called Gary who turns up once a week in spandex and puts her through the positions, while I work downstairs trying – mightily – to avoid invasive thoughts about them going at it like beavers in the master bedroom.
In truth, that first paragraph tells you more about me than Gary. He is far too evolved and 21st-century to have sex with any of his clients. Despite the spandex, he is the real deal. Gary spends his week driving around my local region working personally with dozens of clients in one- and two-hour personal sessions. He has become a welcome addition to our weekly rituals. Proper yoga helped my wife through childbirth and has become an essential part of her general approach to life. She gets some peace and clarity. I get a happy other half. Everybody wins.
So, imagine the chaos in my household last week when Gary announced he was going to be 'Virtual Gary' from now on. He kept his practice going during the Covid-19 lockdown by replacing physical sessions with Zoom consultations. It took a week or two for Mrs R to get the laptop working properly and adjust to stretching through a computer screen. But, after a few bumps, it has worked just fine and she has had almost three months of online yoga.
Fortunately, my little corner of the world – thanks to God and a rural community that has been socially isolated since 1850 – has enjoyed a completely Covid-free existence for two months now. Almost all the restrictions have been lifted and Gary can start his weekly visits again. But Gary has developed a taste for the online life. He emailed all his clients last week to announce that he will continue with the Zoom sessions and no longer offer physical visits. His hourly pricing will stay the same.
You can see his point. The side of his van might say “Soothing Yoga” but most of his time is spent driving around some very unsoothing rural roads avoiding tractors. For every downward dog there must be a dozen three-point turns and no-one pays him for travel time. Now that his clients have adjusted to both the virtual sessions and the idea of paying the same price for them, Gary’s potential revenues and gross margins might grow exponentially.